Pastor Crawford’s Testimony

I had the wonderful opportunity to be reared in a great Christian home. I attended church while still in my infancy, in the church where my grandparents were charter members in Galena Baptist Church. At the age of five years old, I heard the Gospel in my Sunday School class about heaven and I knew that I needed to be saved. When I arrived home from church, I asked my father about salvation and how I could go to heaven. My dad explained the way of salvation and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I remember I was so excited to be saved that I ran to my grandmother’s house two doors down and burst in to tell her I had accepted Jesus into my heart. She was so excited for my salvation.
As a teen, I attended a very strict but disciplined school, where I received a quality education. Many of the classes I would later take in college were already being taught to me in high school. At the age of seventeen years old, I answered God’s call on my life to be in full-time Christian service I recall telling one of the associate pastors of our church and he simply replied, “Oh”. I guess I had a lot of growing to do! I immediately began searching my heart for where and what the Lord would have me to do.
I entered college with a Missions Major and began preparing for God’s call on my life. But as is often sadly the case, the devil was at work as well. The church I attended was very strict, and we began to have disagreements. I had attended for college for two years and it was becoming apparent that family, college and church began to overlap in a bad way. My family was very involved in the church and I was soon being shunned by family and friends. It was during this time that I allowed the devil to work in my heart and I soon decided to leave. I don’t blame the church or my family, as this was my decision to allow these things to distract me away from God’s calling in my life.
I left the church, my family, and His calling. I got married to my wonderful wife, but soon was angry and bitter at the Lord because of my upbringing and my family situation. My wife tried to remain faithful to the Lord, but I refused to speak of it. And for two years of my life, I ran from the Lord, much like Jonah of old. And God then went to work on me, bringing despair and hopelessness as only He can bring. Soon I began to come back to church, and in the process of six months, was tired of running. A missionary from the Philippines was speaking and that message was intended for me. I quickly made my way to the altar, and gave the Lord back my life, if He would have it! Oh the joy of being back in His fellowship! It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders and my life was begun anew!
That was 23 years ago. I have never gotten over the awe of it! I soon began working with the teens of the church I was attending, and became their full-time Youth Pastor. Over the last 23 years, I have served in 4 different ministries as a Youth Pastor, College Pastor, and Senior Pastor. Ten years ago, the Lord led my family to start a Church in South Haven, Michigan, where we have been serving the Lord as best as possible. We have seen many souls saved and baptized, great and stable attendance, and have seen 9 men surrender their lives to full-time Christian service. The Lord has truly blessed in so many ways.
The Lord burdened my heart to start another church in the Wyoming/Grandville, Michigan area. CrossPoint Baptist Church was founded in the fall of 2017, and will continue to go forward as the Lord leads and blesses the ministry.